Windows 8.1 Review – Will it be Able to Stop the Android Onslaught?

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By Sachin Trivedi | January 9, 2014 3:10 PM EST

Microsoft may have addressed some of the issues with the Windows 8, but has it done enough to retain its core customer base to prevent an Android takeover of the desktop in the future? Here is a review of the Windows 8.1.

Reuters
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich speaks about a dual Windows and Android operating system during his keynote address during the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

How to Upgrade to Windows 8.1

It is relatively easy to upgrade to the Windows 8.1 for users of Windows 8. The upgrade will be the first app in the Windows Store. Users can choose to install the upgrade from the store and the upgrade happens fairly quickly.

The Windows 8.1 retains all the apps and files on the desktop which were there before the upgrade and users need not worry about having to reinstall all the applications once again. The upgrade also retains the icons pinned to the task bar, making the transition smooth.

Start Button is Back

One of the biggest criticisms of Windows 8 was that in a quest to be touch friendly some of the regular functionality like the Start button was sacrificed. There was considerable resistance to the new operating system from users especially due to the missing Start button.

The Windows 8.1 brings back the Start button with a whole host of improvements. Users will be able to open up to four apps at the same time and the size of each app can be changed according to the needs of the user.

Internet Explorer 11

The new Internet Explorer 11 is one of the fastest browsers currently available in the market. One of the exciting features about the browser is that users will be able to open unlimited number of tabs.

Gaming

Users may find that some of the games may not work so well on the Windows 8.1, compared to the Windows 7. Not all users have the same experience though and many of the users, especially those who play games using Steam, have not experienced many problems.

The Android Advantage 

One of the biggest advantages of Android is that it has a lot of content in terms of popular apps and games, which it can bring to the PC. Recently Intel unveiled processors that can switch between the Windows operating system and an Android operating system with just a push of a button.

AMD has also reportedly announced a partnership with BlueStacks to bring Android applications to run within Windows. These developments may keep Microsoft on its toes to ensure that it does not lose the PC market to Android.

The Verdict

Although Android may pose a serious threat to Windows in the future Microsoft still has time to get its act together. The Windows 8.1 may not be prefect but it was the first step in bringing smartphones, tablets and PC running Windows a little closer.

The new update for Windows 8.1 is expected before a new version of Windows is unveiled. The update is expected to address the concerns of desktop computer users who feel that the interface should be made more mouse and keyboard friendly.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich speaks about a dual Windows and Android operating system during his keynote address during the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith
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